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Green Building & Sustainable Development

A Unique Model for Education. A Powerful Method for Design.

United by a vision of using the creative process as a means to affect positive change on a global scale, George Brown College's Institute without Boundaries (IwB) has launched the second phase of its post-graduate certificate program - the World House Project (WHP). The project's objective is to generate a locally adaptable housing system based on the design principles of sustainability, universality, technological responsiveness and balance.

This year's IwB students will participate in the Toronto Green Building Festival running October 31st to November 1st, with 40 other organizations exhibiting and presenting the latest products and designs in the green building market. Media will be able to meet the students in person and discuss their work at the IwB booth during the two day conference and tradeshow.

The students operate out of a new Toronto studio designed and renovated with the WHP's principles of sustainability, affordability and universality in mind. Each of the 16 team members brings a unique perspective to the project: they come from as far as Honduras and Belgium, with professional backgrounds ranging from international development to engineering to reflexology.

"The questions driving the program are bold ones," says Luigi Ferrara, project leader of the WHP and director of George Brown College's School of Design. "What if we could design buildings that distill water, change with the seasons and produce no waste? What if the strategies of conservation, stewardship, regeneration, health and ethics were applied to building both the home and the city? The concept for affordable 'green' housing is not new, but the WHP's aim is to broaden current practices to make sustainable design adaptable internationally."

The need for a holistic approach to housing is global, and yet the challenges differ depending on where you are. Urban sprawl and monster-sized houses consume disproportionate amounts of the world's energy and are a major source of pollution. On the other hand, it is estimated that over a billion people live in urban slums or without any shelter at all, and by 2030 that number is projected to grow to three billion. The World House Project seeks to redress some of these imbalances through a systems redesign.

A key component of the WHP is to share the project's learning through an interactive website to allow communities and housing practitioners to integrate this emerging model into their own designs. The program will conclude with an international conference where the WHP will present a prototype housing module and workshop its findings in a design charette format. Already, in one month, the group has tackled ten different integrated design and research challenges.

More information about the IwB and the WHP can be found at and

More information about the Green Building Festival can be found at

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